Two days after Solange's passionate performance at Camp Flog Gnaw, the multi-hyphenate debuted her latest composition, a performance art piece titled Bridge-s, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon (Nov. 11). Described by Solange as “a reflection on how much transition can be controlled and accelerated by our own ideas, thoughts, and movements versus the natural process of time and space,” the nearly hour-long performance, in partnership with IAMSOUND and performance artists Gerard & Kelly, provided visual and audible stimulation from all angles.
Against a backdrop of stunning architecture and a clear skyline, a dance troupe and a musical ensemble that included horns, keyboards, strings and drums occupied four quadrants in the outdoor courtyard. As the sun set, toned, taut bodies dressed in orange, beige and brown outfits glided along the floor, as if using the museum marble as a painter’s canvas.
They twirled, stomped, sashayed and side-stepped to the shifting soundtrack of silence, vocal countdowns, melodic riffs from the singers, soulful jazz and isolated chords from each respective instrument. The musicians also delivered solos, even from the terraces of different buildings around the museum at some points. Trust falls and human bridges — which called to mind a graceful game of human Tetris — were built into the fluid choreography. By the performance’s end, the music had crescendoed into a jubilant symphony as the dancers got in formation before iterating fragments of a phrase that can aptly sum up any aspect of life: “This house that was built, can crumble any time.”
“Writing and composing this new music for this piece and directing it alongside Gerard & Kelly has been so fulfilling to me as I enter new planes as a composer and writer. I just thank you guys for allowing me the space to evolve and experiment and express new frontiers,” Solange told the crowd. “It’s really a labor of love to all these incredible dancers. To my incredible ensemble, thank you for trusting me and being a vessel.”
The audience was composed of influencers, creatives, press and talent, including Thundercat, photographer Renell Madrano, The Internet’s Syd and Tyler, The Creator. Walking around and snapping photos, Tyler was giddily reacting and bopping along to different portions of the performance. Less than 24 hours after Drake-gate at his Camp Flog Gnaw festival, he reiterated his Twitter thoughts about the finale to a group of journalists.
"Drake's sensitive and I don't want him to take what had happened to heart," Tyler said, noting that Flog Gnaw was meant to be a space for everyone. “The funny thing is, we’ll be laughing about it in 10 years.” Despite the social media spiral, he later proclaimed, “I feel free." He also hugged Solange multiple times post-performance.
Bridge-s is far from Solange’s first foray into visual art: the singer, songwriter and composer has presented art shows, films and installation at esteemed institutions around the world, including New York’s Guggenheim Museum, London’s Tate Modern and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Powered by Dropbox and Getty, a series of performances, films and artist talks programmed by Solange will take place on Saturday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17 at the Getty Center Museum. The event will also feature new work by Gerard & Kelly, directed in collaboration with Solange and featuring jazz pianist Cooper-Moore. For more information, visit the Getty’s website.